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Discipleship and ImaginationChristian Tradition and Truth$
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David Brown

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198270186.001.0001

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Heaven and the Defeat of the Beast: Social Aspects of Discipleship

Heaven and the Defeat of the Beast: Social Aspects of Discipleship

Chapter:
(p.102) 3 Heaven and the Defeat of the Beast: Social Aspects of Discipleship
Source:
Discipleship and Imagination
Author(s):

David Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198270186.003.0004

The first part of the chapter considers some of the positive reasons why heaven as a present reality came to supplement and even supplant eschatology as a purely future concept. Thereafter, consideration is given to the question of why, if modern Christianity is right to discount the idea of hell as a place of eternal punishment, it nonetheless was allowed by God to survive in Christian consciousness for so long. In seeking an answer, the rituals of death, the invention of purgatory, and images of Satan and the Last Judgement are explored at some length, the discussion concluding with note being taken of how the contrasting images of Leviathan and of the Unicorn also contributed to this overall picture.

Keywords:   eschatology, heaven, hell, Last Judgement, Leviathan, purgatory, Satan, Unicorn

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